Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World: Because the Park Just Wasn't Big Enough

I don't think I really have to say it, but I'm never insanely jazzed about sequels. The bulk of them lack the flavor of the originals and get caught up in details that are totally irrelevant and don't add anything to the plot, characters, or larger message (see also: remakes).

However, for the obvious theater bait that Jurassic World is, it actually ends up being a really decent film.

Basically, they sidestep the fact that the last three films had made the park abandoned and at this point, in the world of today the park is an insane success a la Disney World with prehistoric animals. This new park is run by workaholic Clare (Bryce Dallas Howard). The dinosaurs are maintained to the point that people don't find them insanely interesting anymore. To combat the public's boredom, they manufacture a new dinosaur to shake things up a bit. Needless to say, the animal is smarter than they've bargained for and they soon have to track it down before it starts killing everything in its path. As Clare tries to find her nephews, who are at the park on a visit, she's joined by raptor research scientist and trainer Owen (Chris Pratt, you beautiful bastard). Together the four of them band together to try and shut down the rogue dinosaur and escape the horrors of the park.


Once more, it's beyond me why you'd want to try and upstage the great Steven Spielberg, but hey, you got your Chris Pratt, you got your genetically modified plot, and you've got a few other tricks up your sleeve, so at least you're not attempting to mimic the insane greatness that was the original. You're doin' pretty good.

Jurassic World's success also leans heavily on the fact that director Colin Trevarro keeps the content pretty fresh. Even though a lot of the movie is given away in the trailers, there's still enough in the actual film to keep you on your toes.

Characterization isn't horrible either. While we see some predictable tropes from the workaholic aunt who finally realizes the value of her family to the kids who are sent away because their aprents are getting to divorced to even the hidden agenda of a certain mercenary, they're vehicles for the plot and effects and that ends up being okay. Dallas Howard and Pratt have a surprising amount of chemistry, which was a nice addition to the movie, and little elbow nudge bits keep the audience interested without getting carried away.

I guess my point is this: Jurassic World doesn't reinvent the wheel, but instead innovates what's already there. We want to see more of this franchise because: 1. The first movie is so good and 2. because dinosaurs are hard to keep interesting outside of this sort of plot. I mean, think about it, besides Disney, who has had the balls to tackle dinosaurs since Steven Spielberg invented that market in the 90s?

But instead of the old characters in new situations like the other sequels have relied on, this one takes a fresh approach with new characters, a modern plot (genetic modification couldn't be more relevant right now), and insane CGI innovations that make them that much scarier.

Like holy crap, do yourself a favor and click on this. The details are insane.

Long story short: Jurassic World is a damn decent sequel. Even if it doesn't live up to the impossibly high standards of the original, it makes the same social commentary that the original does, entertains, and is impeccably executed in terms of special effects.

8 outa 10. I was pleasantly surprised.

Obviously I don't have to show you the trailer at this point, so here's a clip.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I liked this far more that I thought I was going to. While there were many moments that felt like complete reinterpretations of the original...they were interpretations and they felt 'their own' in a weird way.

    Great write up!